As you may know from reading my Twitter and Facebook posts last week, I did an interview with a personable fellow named Michael Bay (no, not that Michael Bay) over at The Content Marketing Institute about how we used the principles of Content Marketing at Airborne Bicycles to get a leg up on our much bigger, much better-funded competitors.
You can read the interview here, and there will be a longer and more detailed version in the CMI's paper magazine coming out next month (I think).
But I'm not writing this to say, Hey, lookit me, guys, I scored an interview with some marketing organization you probably never heard of. Or even how the principles of Content Marketing lets the citizen cyclists at the Airborne Flight Crew earn many times more marketing benefit per dollar spent than any number of pro road or mountain bike race teams I could mention (or even better, how they continue to do so after I've left-- frankly, I'm especially proud of that part).
But the real point I want to make here is that for the first time I can think of, hardcore Don Draperesque marketing types are looking to the bike business (!) for examples of Best Practices in a cutting-edge discipline that's so new the ground rules for it are still being written as we speak.
And that's so amazingly cool I can hardly stand it.
I outlined some of these principles a couple of weeks ago in my first blog post on the topic, including why Content Marketing is so perfectly suited to bikes and cycling. But it's up to us as an industry to take the next step.
So the real question is, which brand or brands has the courage to quit bellowing about themselves and how cool they are for a minute, put down the megaphone, and actually engage in a two-way conversation with the cyclists who are their customers?
Editor's note: Rick Vosper's quarter century in the cycling business includes executive stints as Director of Airborne Bicycles, Director of Global Marketing for Specialized Bicycles, and VP of Marketing & Product for Veltec Sports. Outside the cycling industry, he's worked as an award-winning copywriter and creative director for advertising, collateral, web, and multimedia agencies.